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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter is a time for... canine humiliation

We're not the religious sort in this house, can you tell?
Sullivan and Emmitt wanted to just tell you all, Happy Easter and wish you luck on your egg hunts.
We here are prepping fresh rosemary bread this morning. Last night I baked a blueberry cherry pie that I hope came out okay to be served after this afternoons ham and green beans that we're having a couple friends over to enjoy with us. It is going to all be lovely with the dishes they are bringing, I'm sure.

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday afternoon with your families, whether you were born in to them or chose them.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Little Carried Away

That's what I got last night thinking about what time I needed to start my day today, but it's payed off thus far. The kids have been walked in relaxed enjoyable fashion as the full moon sparkled off the river and we watched the morning sky brighten and Cassiopeia fade into the days dawn, and were rewarded with a little meteor shower. It started with just a few small ones then had a larger one flash bright green as it broke up. The flash was bright enough to compete with the moon for casting shadows momentarily. All in all, a wonderful wake up walk.

What got me out so early you may be asking yourself? Well, as usual I've filled up my first day off quite nicely. I tend to do this to myself on a regular basis, but I complicated matters this week because I could have sworn just a day ago that Easter was next weekend. Yeah, some people. But now that I'm set straight I have the next four days jammed packed with projects before having folks over for a nice ham and some fiber time. Because of this; I have kick started my day with an early morning walk with the kids that was perhaps to early. Yes, I said it. I had not only time to do the walk, but also have time to fit in a shower earlier than planned and write a blog post. I guess I got the worm and ate it too.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and a nice Easter weekend with your friends and family.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cabin Fever?

I think I may have it just a little bit which makes no sense since we don't have snow on the ground or record low temps keeping me indoors. Yes, we do have the usual wind that makes dog walks not so much fun but it doesn't stop me and more importantly doesn't stop the four legged members of the family. Never the less, I seem to have a touch of the cabin fever. I noticed it coming on the other day right after I started feeling better. I tried to ignore it, then I just plain denied it, and all of you from cold climes that have suffered this particular late winter early spring ailment know how well that works. So yesterday I gave into it. We got an unexpected day off when the hood over the grill at work went out and we had to close the restaurant until it got fixed this morning. I decided with a day off i should get the kids out, and make something wonderful for dinner for Bob.

So I went to the store and ended up as I often do wondering the aisles trying to come up with dinner ideas, spending way too much money before hitting the gas station and getting home. The cabin fever aching part of my mind shoved me into the flower section and produce section unmercifully until I had so many greens and flower I couldn't stand it. Then it lured me to the easter candy, but enough about that.

So I have these lovelies on the dining room table.

I love iris's and I just couldn't pass them by, they were to pretty. It's funny that I  don't like others to buy me flowers typically, but I often have to buy them for myself.

And I made this for dinner. It was wonderful. I had something like it in mind and between my opened; half drank Cabernet Sauvignon, and what I picked up while I was out I had all the ingredients plus an extra side of sautéed broccoli, carrots and yellow squash. It was a lovely dinner and we had dishes wrapped up before I curled into the chair to work on the homespun shawl.
Now, the other day I had the shawl out and working on it and someone mentioned that my decreases didn't match the pictures of the shawl in the pattern. The pattern is from Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed and is the Autumn Leaves Stole, which I would be happy to link to except his site seems to be down at the moment. She failed to notice the extra repeats of the pattern I made to mine to boot, but that's not my point. I nodded and replied that yes my decreases were in fact different where she then kind of gasped and said in a slightly horrified voice, "You didn't follow the pattern?"

I was kind of shocked by this reaction as I said, "No..."

I didn't think much more on is until today when I was reading the yarn harlot discuss deviations from what people think a pattern should be and include on her own blog that you can read here. I myself kind of think of patterns as I do recipes in the fact that I kind of associate them to general guidelines. You know, like the pirate code. They give me ideas that I often run with in directions the pattern writer never intended.

So, back to point regarding this particular pattern. It is in fact a lovely pattern. Wonderful charts and easy to read and commit to memory so I don't have to have the pattern around (we won't discuss my screw up last night. I was too busy laughing at Doc Martin dammit, which by no means implicated the perfectly clear and correct instructions in the pattern for my error) with me at all times.Jared once again made an impeccable pattern that I just can't force myself to knit to the exact pattern.

Mainly, it's an aesthetic thing on my part. I am doing a different decrease across the body of the shawl that I like better for my yarn, and I know the recipient will appreciate. It gives it a sharper look, that's all. If this were for me or someone I knew appreciated a more hand knit look to their finished item I would happily do the called for decrease. It gives it a bit of a "granola" look that although is sloppier in a way, it is very chic in said sloppiness and for some people would be a perfect compliment to their tastes and style of dress. However; it is not to the person I am knitting it for. I'm pretty sure the designer would appreciate that. Maybe more so, the fact that I bought the pattern, but none the less I hope most designers understand that some of us just can't follow directions very well. Ask my Mom, she's been frustrated for years by that issue of mine.

This is something that I try to get students to play with. I've taught you to knit, I've taught you to purl, and I've thrown some variations in there to show you what these stitches can do when paired up in different ways. We've hammered out gauge and it's importance and the fact that just when you nail it down that little swatch is going to lie through it proverbial teeth and bring you to tears over what was supposed to be a fitted cardigan that can only be used as an elephant leg warmer. Heck, I've discussed the differences in types of cast on's, bind off's and now I want you to go play. You don't have to follow the patterns I've even written for you. You want to see what happens if you change where the decreases fall, or better yet take that cowl, sew some seams into the bottom and add purse straps, try it out. If it fails, maybe you learned something about what you're doing. GREAT! Patterns are just somebody's ideas written down, if they inspire you to play with their piece and grow as a knitter, then have at is.

I guess that was why I was a little taken aback the other day by the other knitter who I think of as a pretty good knitter. I was stunned that she was so shocked that I would stray from the pattern (and it was even a really minor wandering too, she would hate to see some of the other things I've done) when I had a different way to do something as piddly as a decrease. I am going to have to pay close attention to her knitting from here on out to see if she's a "By the pattern" knitter who doesn't wander out into the gray areas of creation. It would explain some of the issues she's brought to me before, and I'm going to have to shover her out there away from a pattern here and there just to challenge her. Or not, she does have big pointy sticks in her hands after all.

All right, off to bed with me. You all have a wonderful night.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Touch of Fall in the Spring (an actual post!)

No more whining about the cold, I promise. I don't know why I came on here to whine when in real life I'm not a whiner when sick. I'm one of those people who want to be left alone to sleep and recover on my own. So enough of that crap!

While I was down I did make myself do some quiet spinning and was able to get the spinning project that would never end done! I turned all that lovely super wash/merino/silk blend orange fiber into 6 long spun out singles then plyed them with my new bulky plyer into this.
That's 1600yards(680gms) of wonderfully soft terra cotta colored fine sport weight yarn, even after washing and setting the spin. Now I just have to knit it, which will begin today. I will try not to whine too much about that either.
While spinning on this project I found it ironic that I'm listening to the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. They kept going on about reds and oranges, and here I was working this fiber. I have found it a wonderful work of Science Fiction that is amazingly captivating despite the length and depth of detail he goes into from everyday life to politics and true actual "Science". If you are a science fiction buff and like me haven't dove into this work before now, I recommend it. I like the occasional science fiction myself and always meant to read this ever since I saw an interview years and years ago of the author.

But, back to plying... I bought the bulky plyer a couple months ago for my wheel in the hopes that it would make my life easier for this project, and while it did in fact let me ply the entire project on just two bobbins, I didn't find it very fun to work on. There's a lag in the take up that though I was able to get to a workable level I was never able to eliminate, and I have to sway, it barely fits on my wheel. I thought it would be something that would stay on my wheel long term but have found I have already removed it so I could work a lace weight yarn without it yanking it apart with it's strange pulsing. With all that said, it was a blessing to have for plying this much yarn.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I shouldn't say this, but...

I feel a lot better today! I know it's tempting the God's of cold viruses but I had to share. I got to come home early from work last night and crash again, and now I actually feel rested and somewhat recovered. I'm sure by the end of the day I will want to crawl back in my bed and pass out again but for now I am happy to feel like I'm among the living once more.

Hope no one else got the crud. I will work on a real blog post in a couple days. Promise.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cold and Misery

Okay, so the title is a bit of an exaggeration, or it is today. Yesterday I was pretty miserable and even found coverage to work the last half of my day so I could go home and crash. Today is still not great, but I'm more functional with the assistance of meds and despite needing a nap I'm going to lay down for here before my nights shift. I'm fairly functional if snot nosed. Hope everyone else is having a great start to their week.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Productivity Despite the Runny Nose

Yesterday was one of those get up early and wipe out your ToDo List so you can do what you really want. Even though that doesn't sound like a lot of fun, I have to say I enjoyed it on a certain level because I haven't been able to have one of those days. I swear as I age my body just wasn't bouncing back from night shifts and after three years of them, I think I'm finally coming back around. So after getting up and scarfing down some yogurt and fresh kiwi the dogs and I hit the trail for a walk, ran by the county offices to get new tags before I came home, wiped out a pattern I was needing to finish writing for tomorrow's class, took the cable box back to the cable company (I'm making an effort to be positive so we'll leave it at we don't watch it enough to okay the expense), got the apple tv functioning before heading out to get my taxes taken care of and go to knit night. Oh, and I hit the bank. We can't forget that before having dinner with friends to boot.

The whole time all this was happening I was ignoring the dragging feeling, and the sore throat I woke up with just telling myself it was spring weather so I was experiencing higher than normal allergy levels. Ha, I wish. AS the dinner drug on I realized it was indeed the dreaded spring cold, then I stupidly took Sudaphrine before bed. Does anyone else suffer from Sudaphed dreams? I always have and last nights were doozy's. Despite it all I was up at seven to finish off the 5th of 6 singles of the persimmon I've been working on for my big spinning project.
The tea didn't help as much as I hoped so I downed more Sudaphed before hitting the trail with the guy and dogs, and the home show where I repeated the congestion meds and threw in some anti-imflammatories before tearing out the last of the carpet in the upstairs. Now, all you allergy suffers, I can hear you groaning right now, and you are right. It was stupid with an already stuffy head, to tear out carpet but I'm sure in the long run it will be a wonderful help to have it gone.
So, tonight I sit here with my cup of tea and my spinning wheel and am going to work on getting the sixth and final single spun so possibly next weekend I can ply some yarn and start knitting on this project. Fingers crossed. Well, not actually because I also have the kleenex near by and it's hard to blow your nose with crossed fingers, much less spin.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and get something you've been wanting off the ToDo list firmly checked off.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Up Late With To Do's and Frustrations

That is why I've been notably lacking from posting. Very busy and life has been a series of, "Well craps". You know those days.

A Couple weeks ago we decided to do some furniture shifting while I had the aquarium half empty for cleaning. We got it all taken care of but I started to notice the aquarium seemed to be losing water. Friday morning we woke up to find that it was indeed leaking. Now, I had not allotted my already tightly budgeted time to deal with this so I made a mad dash to Petco (We won't discuss the disaster that was) only to find they didn't have what I needed or maybe more to the point, wanted. So I came home to see if I could eek the tank through while I ordered what I wanted. And my computer imploded on itself like a small but disastrous supernova of electronic armageddon. Today is the first day that the new tank is up and going and I have a fully functional computer (I have a new Mac!) and I seem to have gotten the hang of using it all. We won't even discuss the issues I had procuring an aquarium, setting said aquarium up, procuring the computer and the joys of home networking, re-learning how to use macs after a decades absence from them and all the fun times between such as working everyday since.

Due to this and having some spare time today I decided to try to catch up on Blogs and Forums I have missed in my absence. I shouldn't have.

One of the first forums I went into was someone who was upset about a posting on Facebook from a friend that showed their child in an embarrassing bathroom situation. I agree with her and stated as such since she had already had several detractors that I agree we need to respect our children's privacy on social media. Oooh boy, wrong thing to do.

Now, to be honest, I don't like Facebook nor do I have an account. I had a myspace account I closed down ASAP that was required for school because of mainly the lack of respect or common sense I saw displayed there. Facebook to me seems like a proliferation of the same behaviors by and large. I understand that some people use it just like I use my blog, but I don't feel the need to partake, and in fact feel as though the Social Media movement has taken us away as a culture from socializations in general. I have seen people forego normal interactions for those online on a regular basis and as someone in costumer service situation regularly have had to quash the desire to reach out and take iPads, phones and other devices from people and make them have eye contact with me.

This was in a forum that I like to go to. In fact, I love it dearly, but I know it's a forum. It's a group of online individuals whom I don't know. I understand it's written communication that often lacks inflection and sometimes easy to offend, but right now I'm thinking about drawing out of it because of the reaction I got. Many of these people I have liked their postings before, some I know were being funny and trying to de-tension the feeling of the forum but one in particular that asked if I always "Mansplain" my posts really pissed me off, as well as someone who told me I was being condescending when trying to clarify my view points. So, I left and came here to get it out so I can move on and not feel so worked up. I'm just curious if the one that asked me if I mans plain talks like that to her husband (she is married, I looked these users up)? That strikes me as incredibly sexist, which I often get that feel with it being a fiber related site since most users are female. Maybe I'm just being sensitive since my hackles are obviously up over this whole issue. As far as the other one, to consider someone trying to clarify their view point condescending? I think it's condescending to assume you are going to state your opinion in a forum and expect we all agree with you.

As I tried to state there, I think a lot of the confusion is a lack of common language association when it comes to online sites. Just because you've friended someone online, doesn't mean your friends. Well, it doesn't in the my world. On this site, yes I have many people who have "friended me", but I'm not friends with most of them. In fact, most I don't even know. We don't exchange regular email, we don't call each other or send each other Christmas cards. Hell, if i walked into a room with these people in it I couldn't identify most of them. We're website friends, but not real world friends, so why would I let them see pictures of myself, or my loved ones in possibly embarrassing or compromising positions that they can share to all their e-world friends who can continue the chain of passing them on?

To me a friend is someone who can call me when they're in need, or I them. We're shoulders to cry on, and support even when we need it ourselves whether it's monetary, emotional, or physically. That's what you do for friends. They are the family we chose to be around instead of the family we were born to, and some of us are lucky enough that those two groups mingle. Not a group of internet strangers that pushed a button that sent me a "This user has friended you, would you like to be their friend?" text box, and I'll be damned if someone tries to make me feel like I'm not living a full life because I don't have 5,000 fake friends that tout pictures of my kids that when they turn 10 are going to be horrified you have a picture of them pooping in unsanctioned locations. I have a few very good friends that I would give my life for, some of them that read this blog, and a lot of internet acquantences that when I know something bad is happening in their life, I try to keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Some of my friends I have even met online.

The internet is not a bad scary place where evil lurks around every corner, but just think before posting something, "Would I say or do this in person, or want people to see me in this light?". Especially before posting things about others. The internet is a great thing if handled with respect and integrity. It's an entertainment, it's a social link to loved ones, and it's a tool for business's of all shapes and sizes, but it can do great harm as well. Just look here, I am using it to communicate with my loved ones, and some may disagree with what I say and it may cause family discord. It's a two edged sword and all users should be aware of that when they are on it. That's what I'm trying to say.

Okay, off to bed with me. Hope you all have a great night and sleep tight.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'm So Happy!

Even with the early hour and lack of sleep. I was surfing the Internet in the wee hours and found out that one of my favorite bands of all time are back together! I may just have to hit the road to go see The Duhks perform somewhere. I have seen these guys perform three times and each time they have been amazing, if any of you get the chance check them out.

Their first three albums are all an amazing eclectic mix of music styles. The fourth I can't rave about simply because I never loved it as much as the other three. They had a new vocalist that just never sang to my soul like Jesse did. I found out about these guys after a successful job interview that I took  myself to a movie to celebrate after. You know that movie theater station a lot of theaters listen to before the start of the movie? Well this particular theater had some really cool jazzy tunes playing and I learned of these guys and a British songstress by the name of Judith Owens, another wonderful singer. Afterward I went to one of our local music stores to pick up some albums, this was before iTunes during the piracy days of Napster if that doesn't date me to badly, and found that the Duhks were actually coming to town that month. I ran downtown bought tickets and have never looked back baby.  The sad thing is, I couldn't tell you what movie I had gone to see that day. The music made more of an impression than the movie did.

Anyway, I better get kids out so I can spin today. I'm on the fifth single of my big spinning project. That means i have this one and one more to spin before I can ply and start knitting. On the topic of spinning I won a $20.00 credit from Huckleberry Knits this week! I already have a request in for some lovely fiber called Autumn Tidepool but I need to wrap this up then I have this months fiber flub to get spun up.

Have a great day, I'm going to.

Monday, March 4, 2013

No Excuses This Time Around

Just my shear laziness or lack of desire to be online this last week kept me from making a blog post. This morning however as I spun out the 4th of 6 singles of my rusty pumpkin orange merino mix I had the strange feeling of the irony of the color I was working with and the book I was listening to having a strange appropriateness for one another. I'm listening to Green Mars which is the second book after Red Mars in the Mars trilogy. It was during a part where a newcomer to the planet was describing the depth of reds and oranges to the landscape that it made me smile. That somehow led me to walking the dogs out in the wind then turning my mind to blogging.

Which, having worked 8 straight days, 5 of them including double shifts I was a bit worn out and quite grumpy so maybe it was better that I wait until I felt relaxed and inspired to write. Otherwise my surliness would have carried over and I would have sounded either rude, cranky or just downright whiny which I always hate sounding. Well, I'm okay with coming across rude at times. It has its time and place, such as the other night when someone pushed me right over the edge (it was my eighth day working and the 3rd double in a row) which I then felt bad for and apologized which upon later reflection mitigated the fact that I think what I said was very true and to the point. Dang the polite guilt ridden part of my brain! Two days later I was rude when perhaps it wasn't so called for and I probably should go back and apologize to the poor clerk at KMart who is probably just socially challenged (he's obviously bathing challenged) and trying to be talkative to customers. Then again, it got me checked out promptly and on my way...

I'm not one that holds other peoples fashion senses against them since I'm not the fashionable sort. As long as you look somewhat appropriate and have all necessary pieces and parts covered I don't say much. If you're comfortable with your clothing, why shouldn't I be? But I do have a thing for cleanliness. And I'm not talking your clothes though that helps, but hey, they get dirty and if you've been working hard all day you might be a bit grubby. But this guy hadn't showered that day obviously, had greasy hair that was actually leaking over to his skin (I know some people had VERY grease productive scalps and can get past this) which was starting to smell like a little kids snow suit come April in Alaska after being heavily used all winter without a washing. That, his general unkemptness and then the dirty hands. Filthy, wore in dirt around the nails, finger prints and creases of his knuckles dirt. Not the "I've handled cash today and haven't been to the bathroom" kind of dirt but the I don't bathe or believe in washing my hands after toileting hands... You got the picture of dirty I'm talking about? Well, I went to KMart to look for a matching piece of furniture to the last thing I bought there over a year ago. I know, stop laughing, it was a ridiculous thought but I had to try. Upon not finding it I was leaving when I noticed a sale; on ironically, Neutrogena cleaning products that was a heck of a deal and I decided to refill. Upon checkout I was given the third degree as to why I don't have a rewards card. When I explained that I hadn't been there in over a year, I was informed that I should come more often because they are so much better to shop at than all the other places and he personally loves to come there. When what should have taken two minutes to run the handful of items I had and for me to use my card had taken more than 5 due to this little interrogation I couldn't help but respond to his last line by stating, "And being just like you is one of my goals hence why I'm buying personal hygiene products." with a completely straight face. Nothing else was said while he finally scanned my last purchase and I left with a curt "Thank you." Like I said, I've been a little churlish and probably didn't need to be spouting online. As I stated, I went over the top as I usually do and should make myself a list and go to KMart in hopes of seeing this guy and apologizing. Maybe even this blog post is a sort of out in the general public apology since I doubt I'll be going back to KMart before the years out again.

Anyway, here in Casper we've again had precipitation while on this side of the Rockies is a small miracle made even smaller by the size of said precipitation but we'll take what we can get. I just hope we get more so fire season is a little less expansive this year. This morning though we got a dusting of snow is windy. I even cut the dog walk short due to the northerly bitter wind that made what we did do kinda miserable. I will dress warmer for the next walk. But for now, I'm going to continue spinning and hope that sometime this year I may be able to start knitting this project. Oh, and I got more fiber club today!!!

Have a great week guys.